One of my goals for our daughters is that they become close friends. Some of the people I most enjoy spending time with are my own brothers and sister. I also realize that, at least in the childhood years, this often doesn’t come naturally!
In order to help the process along, here are five “‘C’s” I’m trying to implement.
1. Cultivate similar interests. Each child has his/her own personality and interests, which should be encouraged and developed. However, there are probably a few pastimes that they all enjoy, so provide as many opportunities as possible for them to participate in those together.
2. Communicate your expectations of how they are to treat one another. When our children were very young, we let them know that name calling and the use of phrases such as “Shut up” would not be tolerated.
3. Create an atmosphere of acceptance. Don’t allow criticism of one another’s failures or shortcomings. It’s important that members of a family support each other in their endeavors.
4. Carve out time for each child to be alone. This could involve giving each child a time and space to be by themselves or scheduling individual time with a parent.
5. Capture the moments when they are getting along and commend them for it. It may be fleeting, but be quick enough to notice and applaud their efforts!
What other suggestions do you have for building strong sibling relationships?